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Mocha Mousse Frosting

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This frosting is a fun fluffy mocha twist on ermine frosting. If you like boiled milk frosting, this version has chocolate and coffee cooked in making it even more flavorful.

Pipe swirl of fluffy brown ermine frosting flavored with chocolate and coffee.

This fluffy chocolate and coffee frosting is a fun and delicious twist on one of my all-time favorite frostings, ermine Frosting.  I just love how light and fluffy it turns out.  

The texture of this frosting is a lot like whipped cream. It is really light and airy.

It is perfect for spreading over layer cakes or put it on a coffee angel food cake like I did. If you get the texture right, you can even pipe swirls onto cupcakes.

Mocha ermine frosting ingredients including butter, sugar, milk, flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and vanilla extract.

However, the softer texture of this frosting does mean it is not the best for using for fine details. This coffee frosting is more for tasting great than for decorating.

Making Mocha Ermine Frosting

I replaced some of the flour with cocoa powder and added just a bit of instant coffee granules to deepen the flavor.  I also went ahead and threw the sugar in with the milk when I cooked it.

A lot of ermine frosting recipes have you add the sugar in the mixer. However I prefer cooking it with the milk because it ensures that there won’t be any grainy texture left in the frosting.

The key to getting this frosting right is cooking the flour/sugar/cocoa mixture thick enough.  It should be like a really thick pudding or paste when you take it off the heat.

You should have to scoop (or at least coax) it into the mixer bowl when it is cooled, it should not be able to be poured.  The other key is to make sure it is completely cooled to room temperature or even chilled before you add it to the butter.

You don’t want to melt the butter at all.  Other than that, just let it whip for several minutes.  That is where you get that great fluffy texture.  

Don’t get yourself in a hurry and take it off too soon.  If you have never made a cooked frosting, you don’t know what you are missing!

The only word of warning is that this frosting doesn’t fare well in hot temperatures.  It is a very soft butter frosting and you are going to want to keep it cool or at room temperature.

If you are having a summer BBQ, you’ll want to keep your cake in the house until it is time to serve. You can also chill the frosted cake in the refrigerator for a while to help set it, that will give you more time to serve the cake before it gets too soft.

Tips and Tricks for making Ermine/Boiled Milk Frosting

Getting the milk and flour paste just right is the key.  You want it to be a thick paste before you remove it from the heat.

Be sure to keep stirring it, especially as it thickens. You don’t want it to scorch on the bottom of the pan.

If the frosting seems a bit loose when you are done, there is a chance your butter was over softened or your paste wasn’t all the way cooled.  Try placing the bowl of frosting in the refrigerator for 15 or 20 minutes and whipping it again.

If it is still loose, the paste probably wasn’t thick enough.  A bit of powdered sugar or heat treated flour can help tighten it up this time.

Just cook your paste a little longer next time! 

Bite of coffee angel food cake on fork with swirl of mocha mousse frosting acting as a garnish on the plate.

Does boiled milk frosting get hard?

Boiled milk frosting does not form a crust. If you need to set the frosting, using the refrigerator is the way to go. The frosting will get soft again once it is at room temperature.

If you need a frosting that crusts, try crusting buttercream. Check out my Frosting 101 to learn about the different kinds of frosting and what each is good for.

More great coffee inspired recipes:

Mocha whipped cream is another fun topping for desserts. We have piped it on cheesecakes, sponge cakes and more!

Mocha chocolate chunk cookies are rich and chocolaty with the goodness of coffee baked right in.

Swirl of mocha ermine frosting on plate with coffee angel food cake slice.

No bake mocha cheesecake is pretty and delicious. The fluffy mocha cream cheese center is hard to beat.

This mocha mousse frosting was amazing on a coffee angel food cake, but it would also be wonderful on coffee sponge cake.

Pipe swirl of fluffy brown ermine frosting flavored with chocolate and coffee.

Mocha Ermine Frosting

Servings: 24 Servings
Author: Carlee
This frosting is a fun fluffy mocha twist on ermine frosting. The boiled milk paste has coffee and chocolate cooked in for a tasty topping for cake or cupcakes.
4.77 from 13 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together flour, cocoa, instant coffee and sugar.
    4 Tablespoons flour, 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon instant coffee, 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Add the cold milk, a little at a time.  Whisk after each addition to avoid lumps.
    1 cup milk
  • Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture becomes a thick paste.  
  • Cool and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. 
  • Once the cocoa paste you made is chilled, cream the butter in your mixer until smooth.
    1 cup butter
  • Scoop the cocoa paste mixture into butter and add vanilla.  Whip on high speed for 7-10 minutes or until light and airy.
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Frost your cake or cupcakes. Store in the refrigerator. 


If your frosting is too soft, chill it for a bit and then whip it again.
If it is still too soft, add a little heat treated flour or powdered sugar to stiffen it up. Then cook your boiled milk mixture longer next time.
This recipe makes enough to frost a 2 layer 9 inch cake. It will also generously frost a 9×13 inch cake, 24 cupcakes, or an angel food cake.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 113kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 66mgSugar: 9g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Tuesday 11th of July 2023


This recipe sounds divine!!! Can I use instant espresso powder for the instant coffee? Also, can I fill the cake ahead of time or does it need to be served immediately?

Thank you


Tuesday 11th of July 2023

Instant espresso powder would work great. You can fill the cake ahead of time. I like to chill it for a bit to help it firm up a bit, but it tastes best at room temperature.


Tuesday 3rd of May 2016

I like the mocha frappe and anything pumpkin or peppermint during the holiday season!


Tuesday 3rd of May 2016

Those are all on my favorite list too!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Sunday 1st of May 2016

I'll take a bowl of this frosting, and a spoon please! YUM!


Sunday 1st of May 2016

I know! Let's just go for it!


Saturday 30th of April 2016

I love white chocolate mocha Elizabeth [email protected]


Sunday 1st of May 2016


Jessica Jarrell

Friday 29th of April 2016

Ohhh, you know I love flour frosting! I can't wait to try this recipe, it looks delicious!!

Have a great weekend Carlee! :-)


Friday 29th of April 2016

Me too! And I've been having fun playing with it lately. Just imagine the possibilities!